Planning 101 Vacation Planner

Refurbishments, Closures, Reopenings, and Events Currently Scheduled In 2021

December 31, 2020

Don’t you wish there was an easier way to find all the refurbishments, closures, and events happening around Walt Disney World when you’re trying to plan your trip? If your answer is yes, you’re not alone.

When will the Festivals in Epcot be starting, so we can try some new treats? Will there be major refurbishments at the Resort I want to stay at this time around? And when are the Marathon runners and Cheerleaders going to be heading to Walt Disney World, so we can avoid the crowds?

Whether I’m planning out my family’s next trip or helping a client plan their vacation, these are the things that pop into my mind.

Having all of this information in one place can make a world of a difference. Broken down month to month, we’ve included everything you will need to know to help you plan your next trip to Walt Disney World.

2021 Walt Disney World Calendar of Events, Refurbishments, Reopenings, and more...

Check Your Travel Dates

January

Park Hopper returns January 1, 2021. Park Hopping will work the same way it did before with the only change being that you are only able to Park Hop from 2PM until Park close.

The Resort Monorail will continue to roll past the Polynesian Village Resort during the Resort’s refurbishment. Otherwise, the Monorail service will remain the same. It will continue to make stops to the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian, and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 6 – 10, 2021. As the pandemic continues, the Walt Disney World marathon has moved to a Virtual only Event.

Magic Kingdom

Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover – Looking at the Walt Disney World website, it looks as though it will reopen January 7, 2021. However, the schedule was already pushed back when it didn’t make its Summer 2020 reopening. The PeopleMover was long overdue for a refurbishment. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if this gets updated again with a later opening date.

Liberty Square Riverboat – The Liberty Belle may look like beautiful boat that can go anywhere it wants to. But, it actually runs on a track. The Liberty Belle, as well as the track it runs on, is currently under refurbishment and currently scheduled to reopen March 1, 2021.

Tom Sawyer Island – Only accessible by raft, the island will remain closed as long as the Liberty Belle is under refurbishment and the Rivers of America is drained.

Walt Disney World Railroad – Closed since December 2018, the Walt Disney World Railroad will remain closed while Tron Lightcycle Power Run is being constructed. This is for the safety of everyone, since the tracks will be very close to the attraction.Until then, you’re able to get up close and personal with the train.

Tron Lightcycle Power Run Construction (July 2019)

Animal Kingdom

Kali River Rapids – Since Florida weather can be unpredictable during the winter months, Disney likes to schedule refurbishments to water rides during this time. Kali River Rapids is scheduled to be closed January 4 – April 1, 2021.

EPCOT

EPCOT International Festival of the Arts – January 8 – February 22, 2021. Admittedly, a short Festival. But, this immersive Festival is perfect for Guests wanting to expose themselves to all sorts of visual, culinary, and performing arts.

Disney Resorts

Art of Animation – The Big Blue Pool will be closed from January 11, 2021 through early April 2021. The smaller, quiet pools will remain open during its closure.

Polynesian Village Resort – The DVC portion of the Resort will remain open, But, the rest of the Resort is closed for refurbishment, including the Great Ceremonial House. Construction is scheduled through Summer 2021.

Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa – Several refurbishments are scheduled for the DVC Resort. These include the Paddock Pool water slide, the bridge connecting The Paddock to other Resort areas, as well as general maintenance throughout the Resort. I don’t have an exact date. But, these refurbishments are currently scheduled to finish in the beginning of 2021.

Contemporary Resort – Bay Cove Pool water play area will begin its refurbishment January 6, 2021, with plans to reopen sometime in early February 2021. For Guests looking to make a splash at the Contemporary during this time, the pool at Bay Lake Tower, the feature pool, leisure pool and interactive water feature are all still available.

February

The Resort Monorail will continue to roll past the Polynesian Village Resort during the Resort’s refurbishment. Otherwise, the Monorail service will remain the same. It will continue to make stops to the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian, and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).

Disney Princess Half Marathon – February 18 – 21, 2021. Just like with the Walt Disney world Marathon, the Princess Half Marathon has moved to a Virtual only Event.

Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World Railroad – Closed since December 2018, the Walt Disney World Railroad will remain closed while Tron Lightcycle Power Run is being constructed. This is for the safety of everyone, since the tracks will be very close to the attraction.Until then, you’re able to get up close and personal with the train.

Liberty Square Riverboat – The Liberty Belle may look like beautiful boat that can go anywhere it wants to. But, it actually runs on a track. The Liberty Belle, as well as the track it runs on, is currently under refurbishment and currently scheduled to reopen March 1, 2021.

Tom Sawyer Island – Only accessible by raft, the island will remain closed as long as the Liberty Belle is under refurbishment and the Rivers of America is drained.

Animal Kingdom

Kali River RapidsSince Florida weather can be unpredictable during the winter months, Disney likes to schedule refurbishments to water rides during this time. Kali River Rapids is scheduled to be closed January 4 – April 1, 2021.

EPCOT

EPCOT International Festival of the Arts – January 8 – February 22, 2021. Admittedly, a short Festival. But, this immersive Festival is perfect for Guests wanting to expose themselves to all sorts of visual, culinary, and performing arts.

Disney Resorts

Art of Animation – The Big Blue Pool will be closed from January 11, 2021 through early April 2021. The smaller, quiet pools will remain open during its closure.

Polynesian Village Resort – The DVC portion of the Resort will remain open, But, the rest of the Resort is closed for refurbishment, including the Great Ceremonial House. Construction is scheduled through Summer 2021.

Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa – Several refurbishments are scheduled for the DVC Resort. These include the Paddock Pool water slide, the bridge connecting The Paddock to other Resort areas, as well as general maintenance throughout the Resort. I don’t have an exact date. But, these refurbishments are currently scheduled to finish in the beginning of 2021.

Contemporary Resort – Bay Cove Pool water play area will begin its refurbishment January 6, 2021, with plans to reopen sometime in early February 2021. For Guests looking to make a splash at the Contemporary during this time, the pool at Bay Lake Tower, the feature pool, leisure pool, and interactive water feature are all still available.

March

Pack your swimsuit because Blizzard Beach Water Park will reopen on March 7, 2021. Unfortunately, Disney has not released a date for the reopening of Typhoon Lagoon.

The Resort Monorail will continue to roll past the Polynesian Village Resort during the Resort’s refurbishment. Otherwise, the Monorail service will remain the same. It will continue to make stops to the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian, and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).

Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World Railroad The Railroad mysteriously disappears from the list of refurbishments on March 14, 2021. This usually indicates that a specific attraction will be reopening that day. However, given the state of Tron Lightcycle Power Run, it’s very possible this date will be extended again very soon.

Animal Kingdom

Kali River RapidsSince Florida weather can be unpredictable during the winter months, Disney likes to schedule refurbishments to water rides during this time. Kali River Rapids is scheduled to be closed January 4 – April 1, 2021.

EPCOT

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival – March 3 – July 5, 2021. Gather up your gardening tools because the Flower and Garden Festival will be here before you know it.

Disney Resorts

Art of Animation – The Big Blue Pool will be closed from January 11, 2021 through early April 2021. The smaller, quiet pools will remain open during its closure.

Polynesian Village Resort – The DVC portion of the Resort will remain open, But, the rest of the Resort is closed for refurbishment, including the Great Ceremonial House. Construction is scheduled through Summer 2021.

Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa – Several refurbishments are scheduled for the DVC Resort. These include the Paddock Pool water slide, the bridge connecting The Paddock to other Resort areas, as well as general maintenance throughout the Resort. I don’t have an exact date. But, these refurbishments are currently scheduled to finish in the beginning of 2021.

All-Star Movies Resort – All-Star Movies is one of 3 All-Star Resorts on Disney Property. However, All Star Movies is the only one scheduled to reopen on March 22, 2021.

April

The Resort Monorail will continue to roll past the Polynesian Village Resort during the Resort’s refurbishment. Otherwise, the Monorail service will remain the same. It will continue to make stops to the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian, and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).

Star Wars Rival Run Weekend – April 15 – 18, 2021. This marathon is now a Virtual Event for health and safety reasons. What is a Disney Virtual Marathon like? Check out my experience doing the 2020 Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon.

2020 Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon

Animal Kingdom

Kali River RapidsSince Florida weather can be unpredictable during the winter months, Disney likes to schedule refurbishments to water rides during this time. Kali River Rapids is scheduled to be closed January 4 – April 1, 2021.

EPCOT

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival – March 3 – July 5, 2021. Gather up your gardening tools because the Flower and Garden Festival will be here before you know it

Disney Resorts

Art of Animation – The Big Blue Pool will be closed from January 11, 2021 through early April 2021. The smaller, quiet pools will remain open during its closure.

Polynesian Village Resort – The DVC portion of the Resort will remain open, But, the rest of the Resort is closed for refurbishment, including the Great Ceremonial House. Construction is scheduled through Summer 2021.

Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa – Several refurbishments are scheduled for the DVC Resort. These include the Paddock Pool water slide, the bridge connecting The Paddock to other Resort areas, as well as general maintenance throughout the Resort. I don’t have an exact date. But, these refurbishments are currently scheduled to finish in the beginning of 2021.

May

The Resort Monorail will continue to roll past the Polynesian Village Resort during the Resort’s refurbishment. Otherwise, the Monorail service will remain the same. It will continue to make stops to the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian, and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).

EPCOT

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival – March 3 – July 5, 2021. Gather up your gardening tools because the Flower and Garden Festival will be here before you know it

Monorail going through Epcot

Disney Resorts

Polynesian Village ResortThe DVC portion of the Resort will remain open, But, the rest of the Resort is closed for refurbishment, including the Great Ceremonial House. Construction is scheduled through Summer 2021.

Beach Club Resort – The DVC portion of the Resort has been open for some time now. But, Guests will be able to stay in non-DVC rooms starting May 30, 2021.

June

The Resort Monorail will continue to roll past the Polynesian Village Resort during the Resort’s refurbishment. Otherwise, the Monorail service will remain the same. It will continue to make stops to the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian, and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).

Taking a selfie on the Walt Disney World Monorail

EPCOT

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival – March 3 – July 5, 2021. Gather up your gardening tools because the Flower and Garden Festival will be here before you know it.

Disney Resorts

Polynesian Village ResortThe DVC portion of the Resort will remain open, But, the rest of the Resort is closed for refurbishment, including the Great Ceremonial House. Construction is scheduled through Summer 2021.

Wilderness Lodge – The Resort is scheduled to reopen June 6, 2021, following a refurbishment. The DVC rooms have been open for some time. But, the rest of the Resort remained closed while the rooms received a complete overhaul. Maintaining it’s “Wilderness” charm, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how clean and fresh the rooms look now.

July

The Resort Monorail will continue to roll past the Polynesian Village Resort during the Resort’s refurbishment. Otherwise, the Monorail service will remain the same. It will continue to make stops to the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian, and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).

EPCOT

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival – March 3 – July 5, 2021. Gather up your gardening tools because the Flower and Garden Festival will be here before you know it.

Disney Resorts

Polynesian Village ResortThe DVC portion of the Resort will remain open, But, the rest of the Resort is closed for refurbishment, including the Great Ceremonial House. Construction is scheduled through Summer 2021.

August

The Resort Monorail will continue to roll past the Polynesian Village Resort during the Resort’s refurbishment. Otherwise, the Monorail service will remain the same. It will continue to make stops to the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian, and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).

EPCOT

EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival – Starting earlier and earlier each year, the Food and Wine Festival has spread out from dates as early as August through sometime in November. Unfortunately, we don’t have specific dates just yet. But, we’ll be sure to keep you updated as soon as they’re released.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival sign in front of Spaceship Earth

Disney Resorts

Polynesian Village ResortThe DVC portion of the Resort will remain open, But, the rest of the Resort is closed for refurbishment, including the Great Ceremonial House. Construction is scheduled through Summer 2021.

September

EPCOT

EPCOT International Food and Wine FestivalStarting earlier and earlier each year, the Food and Wine Festival has spread out from dates as early as August through sometime in November. Unfortunately, we don’t have specific dates just yet. But, we’ll be sure to keep you updated as soon as they’re released.

October

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom’s 50th Anniversary – October 1, 2021. The 50th Anniversary Celebration will spread throughout the 4 Theme Parks. This date not only marks the anniversary of Disney’s first Theme Park in central Florida, it’s the birth of the entertainment complex, as a whole. October 1 is an important date in Walt Disney World because it also marks the anniversary of EPCOT opening on October 1, 1982.

Train Station at Magic Kingdom

EPCOT

EPCOT International Food and Wine FestivalStarting earlier and earlier each year, the Food and Wine Festival has spread out from dates as early as August through sometime in November. Unfortunately, we don’t have specific dates just yet. But, we’ll be sure to keep you updated as soon as they’re released.

November

EPCOT

EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays – Before you know it, we’ll be celebrating the holidays all over again. This short Festival does not currently have an opening date. But, we’ll keep you updated when these dates are released.

December

EPCOT

EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays Before you know it, we’ll be celebrating the holidays all over again. This short Festival does not currently have an opening date. But, we’ll keep you updated when these dates are released.

For more updates on the Disney Resorts, please visit DisneyTravelCenter.com. This has been a great resource for first time travelers, as well as seasoned Disney vacationers.

2020 challenged everything we thought we knew about the Parks and Resorts. Since the closures, we’ve seen some of the things we love return. But, there’s still restaurants, shops, activites, Resorts, and transportation options that aren’t able to open.

Doing your homework has always been important. But, to know what’s open before you get to your Resort could save you a lot of heartache.

Planning Around Upcoming Attractions?

For many, planning trips to Walt Disney World includes a master plan to avoid as many crowds as possible.

But, for those of us who love the Parks and its attractions, trying to plan your vacation around a brand new attraction or Land, is top priority.

Every since Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and Tron Lightcycle Power Run broke ground, everyone has been asking, “When will they open?”

Unfortunately, the pandemic set construction schedules back quite a bit. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, originally scheduled to open Summer 2020, has not opened yet. And 4 – 6 months after its intended opening, we still don’t have an opening date.

None of the ongoing projects are able to meet their deadlines. So, it wouldn’t surprise me if Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Tron Lightcycle Power Run fail to meet their intended Summer 2021 opening date deadline, as well.

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